What happened this week (in anything but politics)

A chilly celebration. Juggling monks. One brave young man. It’s time for this week’s politics-free news.

Anything you can do, they can do…in robes

People have been sharing ridiculously cool videos of Japanese monks doing ridiculously cool things while dressed in their traditional attire. The viral movement has really taken off this week, but it started after a monk in Japan’s Fukui prefecture was given a traffic ticket in September and told his long-sleeved robes could be a driving hazard. Tell that to the guy who posted himself jumping rope, or the robed monk rocking out on the drums. Or the one showing off sweet lightsaber moves.

11 years old and already a hero

A young boy in Minnesota pulled a drowning neighbor out of a pool, saving his life. Wy did an 11-year-old come to the rescue of a fully-grown, 34-year-old man? Simple: He was the only one around who knew how to swim. With a group of adults supporting and encouraging him, Advaik Nandikotkur jumped into the pool and dragged the unconscious man to the surface, where others helped pull him out.

Captain Planet would be proud

Sandals. A circuit board. A few My Little Ponies that had definitely seen better days. These were just a few of the random objects tourists cleaned up on a beach on the Dutch island of Terschelling after a nearby cargo ship lost some of its containers in rough waters. Tourists and locals banded together to help authorities clean up the mess, but police told people to be careful, because some of the containers contained organic peroxides which can be an irritant. You know what else is an irritant? When a brand-new blue BMW washes up on your beach.

Who are these people?!

Want to play a fun game? Try to pick the best band or artist name from this year’s Coachella lineup, which was released this week. Our personal favorites: Soccer Mommy, Deep Dish and Men I Trust.

Of course we all know Ariana Grande and Childish Gambino, but….wait…is that…Idris Elba on there? THE Idris Elba? Apparently he’s also a DJ, and he goes by the name DJ Big Driis.

Wow, this is a lot to process.

There’s no business like snow business

The world’s biggest snow and ice festival kicked off this week in the Heilongjiang Province in northern China, and it is a literal winter wonderland. Snow and ice sculptures glow with multicolored lights at Harbin Snow and Ice World, and more than 2,000 snowmen line the town’s river banks. There are even giant, luminous ice castles. Elsa could NEVER.

Blogs

Alec Baldwin pleads guilty to harassment in parking spot dispute

Alec Baldwin pleads guilty to harassment in parking spot dispute

Alec Baldwin pleaded guilty Wednesday to a violation of harassment in connection with a dispute last year over a parking spot, according to a Manhattan district attorney’s office spokeswoman. The actor pleaded guilty to a violation of harassment in the second degree with a conditional discharge and participation in a short-term anger management program, said…

Taraji P. Henson clarifies R. Kelly stance

Taraji P. Henson clarifies R. Kelly stance

Taraji P. Henson is speaking out after critics suggested she supports embattled singer R. Kelly. The “Empire” star faced backlash Tuesday for a now deleted Instagram story in which she compared protests against Kelly to those against disgraced former producer Harvey Weinstein. The recent Lifetime docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly,” which chronicles allegations of abuse, predatory…

James Gandolfini’s son cast to play young Tony Soprano

James Gandolfini’s son cast to play young Tony Soprano

A planned movie prequel to “The Sopranos” TV series is keeping it in the family. According to Deadline, Michael Gandolfini will play young Tony Soprano, the role that made his late father, James Gandolfini, famous. “The Many Saints of Newark” will explore the life of the young mobster in the 1960s. The feature script was…

Comedian and co-creator of ‘Rel’ Kevin Barnett dies at 32

Comedian and co-creator of ‘Rel’ Kevin Barnett dies at 32

Comedian and writer Kevin Barnett has died, according to a statement from Twentieth Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment. Barnett, 32, co-created the TV comedy series “Rel” on Fox — with fellow comedians Lil Rel Howery and Josh Rabinowitz — which premiered a few months ago and stars Howery. Fox Entertainment released a statement: “Our…

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